Updated Sept. 22 at 12:13 p.m.
BEREA — Browns owner Jimmy Haslam had seen enough Sunday, bolting from his spot near the end zone after the Jets scored the tying touchdown during Cleveland’s epic collapse in a 31-30 loss at FirstEnergy Stadium.
He quickly felt a bottle hit his lower body as he approached the tunnel.
Haslam, 68, pointed to someone in the stands — as seen on a video from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero — and Jeffrey Miller, a 51-year-old Rocky River man, was later detained and arrested on charges of assault, failure to comply with a lawful order and disorderly conduct, according to a police report viewed by The Chronicle-Telegram. All three are misdemeanors, and Miller was released.
“Fan, player and staff safety is the top priority in our building and behavior that puts others in danger will not be tolerated,” a Browns spokesman said Tuesday in a statement. “Luckily no one was harmed in this incident and as a standard practice, we’ve cooperated with law enforcement authorities and security video footage of the object being thrown is in the appropriate hands. We will have no further comment on this matter.”
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 20, 2022
Pelissero reported the Browns plan to ban the man from the stadium.
According to the police report, the command post observed Miller on video surveillance. He was stopped and detained as he approached a gate to leave the stadium and appeared to be intoxicated.
Browns fans have an ugly history of throwing bottles. A game late in 2001 vs. Jacksonville was stopped and the players and coaches left for the locker rooms after hundreds of bottles were thrown onto the field following a controversial call by the officials that went against the Browns.
The Browns led the home opener 30-17 with 1:55 left Sunday but unraveled on defense and special teams. The Jets tied the game on a 15-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Garrett Wilson. Pelissero’s video shows the touchdown then Haslam heading for the exit with 22 seconds left, before the winning extra point.
The Haslams agreed to buy the Browns in 2012 for $1.05 billion. Their only playoff appearance came in 2020.
The fans booed the team Sunday after the loss, which All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett criticized.
“The more disappointing thing was the booing at the end,” he said after the game. “Of course, we’d want to win. … But that’s not always how it goes. These guys are still putting their (rear ends) on the line and playing as hard as they can, and they should be respected as such.
“We have a lot of time to correct what we’re doing, so we don’t want to see this crowd, this stadium give up on us this early. We want to see them completely behind us.”